How Utility Bill Savings Are Within Your Reach
Summer is a wonderful time of the year, associated with warm days around the pool and outdoor entertaining. It’s also characterized by high energy bills thanks to the increased use of air conditioning.
According to research by the EPA, the average American household uses 1,400 kilowatt-hours of energy per person during the summer months. For most of us, that means a huge increase in power bills at this time of the year.
Are you keen to cut down on your electricity use and enjoy utility bill savings this summer? Keep reading, it’s easier than you think.
Solar Power = Utility Bill Savings
The obvious way to decrease your utility bills is by installing a residential solar system.
According to Blue Raven Solar, their new solar energy installations offset around 4,001,286,600 kWh of electricity in one month. That’s just one installer among the thousands operating in the USA.
Whether you install an off-grid system, opt for net metering, or go with a solar PPA, you’re bound to pay less for electricity when you take advantage of solar power.
If you’re considering a residential solar system but are wary of the costs, the tips mentioned below can help you afford your installation, too. That’s because the less electricity you use, the fewer solar panels you’ll need.
Arrange an Energy Audit
A home energy audit is an excellent starting point when you want to save on your energy bills. This two to three-hour walkthrough of your home is an affordable way to ensure ongoing savings.
If you earn under a certain threshold, you could get a discount on this service, too.
During an energy audit, an experienced energy professional will investigate your home’s energy consumption patterns and electrical features. They can often offer suggestions on how to save on utility bills right away without incurring much expense at all.
Light Up Your Home With LED
LED lights use 85% less electricity than incandescents. When you consider that lighting accounts for 5 to 10% of your total bill, it’s easy to see how this simple switch can save you a lot of money.
Switching to LED can save you as much as $100 annually on electricity costs.
Install Energy-Saving Appliances
Appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and washers save a lot of time and effort, but these conveniences come at a high price, i.e., around 13% of your total energy costs.
Energy Star appliances perform the same tasks up to 50% more efficiently. So, as your appliances start to near the end of the road, make sure you replace them with energy-efficient versions.
You may benefit from tax exemptions when you buy these appliances, too.
An automatic thermostat is another fantastic energy-saving device suited to most homes. This innovative technology dials down your home’s heating and cooling when there’s no one around.
In this way, installing an automatic thermostat can shave 10% off your annual heating and cooling bills.
You can take things a step further by setting up ceiling fans in your rooms. A ceiling fan helps add comfort to any room and uses much less electricity than an air conditioner does.
Water heaters are another big player when it comes to saving on utilities, making up about a sizable portion of your energy bill. Get rid of your gas-guzzling water heater tank and install a tankless system instead.
These energy-efficient appliances heat water on demand only and can reduce your energy costs by as much as 30%.
Upgrade Your Insulation
A poorly insulated home leaks hot and cold air, meaning your HVAC gets no rest during weather extremes. Consider insulating your attic and air sealing your building envelope.
If you can’t afford these expensive upgrades at the moment, sealing any noticeable leaks in windows and walls with caulk, or adding weather stripping can help you save on your electrical costs right now.
Closing your windows is another simple way to avoid unwanted air leakages and drafts. Before you start fiddling with the dials on your thermostat, check for open windows.
Change Your Ways
By far, the cheapest and easiest way to cut your home’s operational costs comes from awareness of your electricity usage.
You know you should switch off the lights when you leave a room, but did you know that leaving your appliances plugged in uses a lot of electricity, too?
We’re all guilty of leaving our laptops on to avoid the tedious morning start-up, but you should also unplug your television, game console, and TV when you’re not using them.
Even when they’re not in use, these plugged-in devices suck energy, adding to your bills. Train yourself to unplug these technologies as soon as they’re charged, or invest in power strips that turn off when you’re not using them.
Peak electricity usage hours vary depending on your power company, but you can bet they’re doing the most convenient times of the day. It always costs more when you use electricity during this time frame.
Check your electricity bill to see which times apply to your neighborhood, and do your chores outside these hours. For instance, switch on your washer and dishwasher when you go to bed.
You can always get up a little earlier in the morning to switch on the dryer and pack the dishes away.
Educate Yourself About Energy Savings
The bottom line is, your utility bill savings impact more than your household budget. The less electricity from fossil fuels we use, the better chance we have of cleaning up our planet.
A healthier planet means we can slow global warming and decrease our reliance on heating and cooling during extreme weather.
As technology evolves, more energy-saving devices and appliances come to market. Every one of these does a little to help reduce carbon emissions and benefit the environment.
Stay informed about how to save money on bills, enhance your lifestyle, and improve your carbon footprint, by reading more of our articles.